Victory Cookies - a WWII Recipe

As I've mentioned before, I am intrigued by unusual and old recipes. A few years ago, I bought an old cookbook at a flea market. Tucked inside were a hand full of recipes clipped from newspapers. The recipe described below has intrigued me since I first read it. I always knew I'd just have to give it a try someday.

World War II brought many types of food rationing to the American family. For a quick history lesson on how rationing worked, go here. It's hard to imagine (for me anyway) being forced to make do without something so basic as SUGAR, but this recipe is evidence that folks of that time were willing to be creative so that they could still have some sweet treats in a world with little sugar.

From a 1943 newspaper clipping:

"No Need to have an Empty Cookie Jar"
Everybody likes refrigerator cookies. They have a delicious crispness and the dough may be stored in the refrigerator for some time and fresh cookies baked from it as needed.
Victory Refrigerator Cookies require only one-fourth cup of sugar for four dozen cookies - a reduction of 75 percent from the amount of sugar ordinarily required. Yet no lack of sugar is apparent in their flavor because syrup provides the required sweetness.
With this recipe there's no reason for anybody's cookie jar to be empty for the duration - so get down the easy to handle syrup bottle and let's make Victory Cookies.

To make 48 cookies, you'll use:

2 1/2 cups sifted flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup shortening
1/4 cup brown sugar (firmly packed)
1 cup syrup
1 egg (well beaten)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Sift flour, measure and add the baking powder and salt and sift together twice. Cream shortening until soft, then blend in brown sugar. Add syrup gradually, stirring well after each addition.

Stir in the well beaten eggs and vanilla. Add the sifted dry ingredients in several portions, beating well after each. Stir in the nuts. xx
Line a loaf pan with greased waxed paper and pack in the dough. Chill until firm. Then remove from refrigerator, slice and place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake in a moderate oven (375 degrees F) for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly browned.

I enjoyed following this recipe. Maybe it's just me, but I always have loved any old excuse to dust off my sifter. Hardly any recipes call for it anymore, but I do enjoy it.

Some notes from my experience:

  • This recipe was pretty fun to make...using the syrup instead of sugar was intriguing
  • The dough was promising - and tasty (yes, I admit I sneak the occasional nibble of cookie dough)
  • I used chopped walnuts, because I like them - you might like others
  • The dough really expands in the oven. Keep the cookies small.
  • Eat them while they are warm. These are not such great cookies on day two
  • Bottom line though....I'm glad I tried these because they were fun, but there are better (much better) cookie recipes out there. Use one of those unless you don't have any sugar.

1 comment:

  1. I love your new buttons and Scrabble title! Is it called "title?" I need some help w/ mine...obviously.



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